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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Two up to be legal on Anzac Day

Queenslanders will now be able to enjoy a game of two-up in the State's RSL and Services clubs this Anzac Day after key legislation was passed in Parliament. 

Attorney General Paul Lucas said legalising two-up was a win for diggers, their families, punters and RSL and Services clubs alike. 

""Two up has been a long Australian tradition since colonial times," Mr Lucas said. 

"It was particularly popular with Australian soldiers during the First and Second World Wars and has become an Anzac Day tradition. 

"While technically illegal, police have traditionally turned a blind eye in recognition of the dedication current and ex servicemen and women have shown to Australia. 

"What these laws represent is a sensible approach that formally allows punters to legally play not-for-profit two-up in RSL and Services clubs and in other approved liquor licensed venues with the permission of the RSL. 

"It's a logical move which makes sure returned servicemen and women stay front and centre on Anzac Day. 

"It ensures that any funds raised from entry fees are returned to the RSL to support ex-servicemen, women and their families which is what the RSL asked for." 

Mr Lucas said the amendments to the Charitable and Non-Profit Gaming Act would also allow the RSL to request other days on which two-up could be allowed, such as Vietnam Veteran's Day through a simple change to regulation. 

RSL Queensland CEO Chris McHugh welcomed the new laws. 

"Although, to the best of my knowledge, no licensed RSL and Services Club has ever been prosecuted for playing two-up on Anzac Day, the potential is certainly there," Mr McHugh said. 

"These are sensible amendments that meet the RSL's desire for all profits to go towards helping our members and their families."